Parker, Dorothy. (1970) “Literary Rotarians,” In, The Constant Reader. First published in The New Yorker on 11 February 1928.
Why Dorothy Parker and book bloggers?
Earlier in the month I was reading an article on The Guardian about the value (or not) of Book Bloggers following comments – of the (or not) variety – by the chair of the Man Booker Prize judging panel.
Thanks to a random force, about half an hour later found myself reading a column by Dorothy Parker from 1928 called “Literary Rotarians” in which she complained about the same things.
Thus struck, I wielded my pen.
If you have read Ms Parker’s columns you might notice that I tried to evoke her style in my little article; it was a dreamy business. My favourite lines are:
“life really does rotate like a circle, like a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel; and, baby, literary criticism is no different.”
“Parker describes literary Rotarians flittering from one literary throwdown to the next.”
I also put in a few of my own opinions, as any self-respecting person would – they are, by complete coincidence, pastoral in more ways than one:
“Indeed, to be human is to be a critic and the evidence suggests nothing will hold us back from our evolutionary duty.”
“Our best critics lead us to the choicest fodder – and all the better if we have to pass through the Valley of Death, so long as we know we will arrive somewhere of quality in the end.”
I would like to link to Parker’s article in its entirety, but I can’t find it on the net and I’m not sure of the legalities of scanning it and uploading it myself. If you know either where to find it online so I can link to it or whether I can put it up myself, then, pray, tell me.
Oh, and look, Margaret Atwood and Joanne Harris RT’d this article. They are two people I respect so much. They took me to the depths of my heart, even though they’d never met me. Literature is amazing. It really means a lot to me that they think it’s interesting enough to share. There is … welling.
Read the article:
Read What Might Dorothy Parker say about book bloggers? as published by For Books’ Sake on 19 October 2012.